I already knew, generally, what an M44 was in the context of wildlife management–a baited cyanide device ostensibly used to control [that is, kill] coyotes and other canidae (apparently against foxes in Australia, though using a different poison), but for some reason it popped into my head and I decided to check a few resources for a more detailed description of it and its uses.
The Wikipedia article included an incident in “criticisms” of its use that made me snicker:
“In 2003, Mr. Dennis Slaugh of Vernal, Utah, was on public lands and mistook an M-44 for a survey marker. When he pulled on it, the device shot sodium cyanide powder on his face and chest causing him to become violently ill.” [Wikipedia article on M44 cyanide device]
He THOUGHT it was a SURVEY MARKER on public land, so he tried to pull it up? Asshat. He got what he deserved. The Deuteronomical injunction against moving “boundary stones” came to mind (along with all the laws currently on the books) when I read about this asshat. Since the incident was cited as a criticism of the use of M44 cyanide devices, I doubt the asshat learned the proper lesson from his disgusting behavior. The proper lessons to have learned from that would include:
DON’T MESS WITH SURVEY MARKERS
DON’T MESS WITH STUFF THAT IS NOT YOURS, PERIOD
DON’T BITCH AND MOAN AND DEMAND SOMEONE “DO SOMETHING” WHEN YOUR OWN MISBEHAVIOR REBOUNDS ON YOU
But, as I said, since the incident is cited as a criticism of the device and its use, I doubt the asshat learned the proper lesson from it. I could be wrong. . . but that’s not the way to bet.